Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hope in the Desert

The purpose of today's post is to brag about an amazing young woman who I have watched blossom into a strong, beautiful, vibrant flower despite her dry, hopeless situation.  She is a symbol of hope and determination for mistreated youth everywhere.

I met Laura when she was 14, loud, rebellious, and searching for someone who would love her for exactly who she was.  After suffering abuses at home, Laura was placed in the foster care system and landed in my Algebra I class.  We clicked pretty immediately.  We bonded in this indescribable way that a teacher and her favorite trouble maker can't help.  You kind of just know that you were meant to be in each others' lives.  As a kid, Laura bounced from foster home to foster home, back and forth across county lines and on and off of different drugs.  Luckily, along the way, she found people who believed in her and knew that she was meant for more than the pain and loneliness she had learned to embrace.  At 17, Laura was adopted by a family who loved her and treated her as her own.  Later that year, we all watched her graduate from high school, with tears in our eyes! Laura's story only continues to bloom from there.  Now she is 22, a face of the National Foster Youth Institute, has shadowed congress members in the White House, is hosting a foster youth awareness event in LA later this month, and is, right this moment, in a job interview to work at one of the group homes that helped to change her life!!!

I am so indescribably proud of Laura!!  She has crossed rivers and broken boundaries that many people in her life never thought she could.  I hope that I was and will continue to be a constant reminder to her that she is loved, valued and looked up to!  As a teacher and a youth worker, my biggest hope to be a place of light and love for other children and teens as they find their place in the world!  I love you Laura and I am so proud of who you are and who you continue to become!